Flagstaff Local Matt Boness gives us a tour at Grand Canyon

From Landscapes and wildlife to history and adventure, what’s the one thing about the Grand Canyon that has intrigued you?

I am a historian by college degree, an eagle scout, and someone who has grown up under parents who find solace in the outdoors. The Canyon has a little bit of everything to draw me from human and natural history, adventure in many forms and wildlife nearly close enough to touch.

Matthew Boness at Grand Canyon

If this your first visit to the Canyon, what is motivating you to visit? If this a revisit, what’s your reason for wanting more?

I have been to the Canyon more times than I can count and my parents used to take my older brother and I every year on New Year’ Day. I can’t say that I ever had that first timers’ moment of awe, but nevertheless, I experience the Canyon differently each time I visit. It is so expansive that there is always a new trail to hike or overlook to see and every day offers different lighting or weather which keeps the Canyon always new and exciting, even for someone who has been there as many times as I.

Grand Canyon Scenery

What are five things your Backpack to the Canyon must contain?

Water, first and foremost. We are in the high desert after all. Camera, snacks, sunglasses, and a first aid kit, cause you just never know.

What according to you is the best way to get to the Grand Canyon – By Air, By Road or By Rail?

Most definitely the road. You realize just how immediate the Canyon emerges from the forest. You can experience a similar feeling of the conquistadors who laid their eyes on the Canyon so many centuries ago.

Grand Canyon Photo in Black and White

What is travel to you in one word?


What are three tips for an awesome budget trip to the Grand Canyon?

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Pack your own food. Camp on the Forest Service land just outside park boundaries (please follow all rules). Hike into the Canyon. It’s free and a better experience than just looking from the rim.

Grand Canyon in Black and White

On your travels, what would you choose a book or a camera, and why?

I would choose a camera. I am a photographer and looking for your next photo helps open your eyes to the world surrounding you. There is so much to see at the Grand Canyon that you don’t want to be stuck behind a book when the story is unfolding right in front of your eyes.

As a travel destination, how would you rank the Grand Canyon from 1 to 10?


Did you visit the Visitor Center?  Did you see the IMAX movie, Grand Canyon: Rivers of Time?  What did you think?

I have seen the IMAX movie a couple times and I think it’s a good starting point when visiting the Canyon, but only that. Nothing can top actually experiencing the Canyon for yourself.

Tell us a little about yourself!  This will be included on the web site.  What brought you to Grand Canyon? Where are you from? What do you do? What are your influences?

I was born and raised in Flagstaff, Arizona, which, according to any map, is only about an hour and a half’s drive from the South Rim entrance. I’ve had the distinct pleasure of sharing Grand Canyon as part of my backyard for most of my life and it has never ceased to draw me to it’s expanses, because every trip is a different experience. I tell people that I get the same excitement of visiting the Grand Canyon as a child might get from visiting Disneyland for the first time.